Boys basketball team heating up

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton sophomore Gavyn Hurley drained this three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Cardinals past Fort Atkinson, 58-57, in double overtime last Saturday./Photo courtesy of Mary Bavery

The postseason road won’t be easy.

But Middleton’s boys basketball team showed last week it’s more than capable of making plenty of noise throughout the playoffs.

The Cardinals notched a thrilling 58-57, double overtime win over Fort Atkinson last Saturday. Middleton also defeated Kingdom Prep Lutheran, 64-44, last Friday and improved to 3-2 on the year.

Those victories helped Middleton earn the No. 4 seed in its six-team postseason pod. Waunakee is the top seed, followed by DeForest, Sun Prairie, Middleton, Verona and Oregon.

Middleton and Verona will meet in a WIAA Division 1 regional quarterfinal at Baraboo High School on Tuesday at 5:30. The winner of that game meets top-seeded Waunakee in a regional semifinal at Baraboo on Feb. 19 at 5:30.

The regional final will be Feb. 20 at a time and location yet to be determined.

Middleton worked its way into the No. 4 seed thanks to a pair of wins last weekend — highlighted by a thrilling victory over Fort Atkinson.

Middleton trailed the host Blackhawks, 57-55, with time running out in the second overtime. Point guard Logan Raffel got a high screen, came right and hit sophomore Gavyn Hurley in the right corner.

Hurley launched a contested three-pointer just before the horn sounded and it hit all net to give the Cardinals a scintillating 58-57 win.

“That takes (courage),” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “A memory like that never leaves you. 

“Gavyn’s a sophomore we knew had the talent to help us. We thought he had played really well in stretches. And that’s a shot he’ll remmeber the rest of his life.”

Sophomore forward Kaden Fosdick led Middleton with 16 points and four rebounds, while junior guard Nick Meinholz added nine points and senior forward Hayden Statz had seven.

Middleton took its first lead of the game, 41-40, with 56 seconds left in regulation when Raffel drained a three-pointer from the left corner. Statz and senior guard George Finch each made one of two free throws as the Cardinals took a 43-40 lead with 5.3 seconds left.

Fort Atkinson advanced the ball to the frontcourt and took a timeout with 2.6 seconds left. Middleton elected not to guard the inbound man, who was able to make an uncontested pass to sophomore Logan Kees near the top of the key. Kees then drilled a step back three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 43 and force overtime.

In the first overtime, Statz had two quick baskets and Fosdick made three of four free throws as Middleton raced to a 50-45 lead. The Cardinals still led, 52-48, with 15 seconds left when Fort’s Ryan Burke went to the line.

Burke made the first free throw, missed the second and the Blackhawks rebounded. There was an inadvertent horn from the scorekeeper, but the officials didn’t stop play. 

Middleton seemed confused momentarily and Burke came free up for a wide open three-pointer. Burke then buried that triple to tie the game at 52 and force a second overtime.

“Their A.D. apologized for that after the game,” Bavery said. “Officially, it is a “play-on”, but it wasn’t unreasonable for our guys to think the game was over.”

Middleton never led in the second O.T. until Hurley’s heroics at the buzzer.

Fosdick had a steal and lay-up that tied the game, 55-55. But Fort junior guard Carson Baker drilled two free throws with 27.5 seconds left to give the Blackhawks a 57-55 lead.

That set the stage for the dramatic final seconds and Hurley’s game-winning three-pointer.

“Logan Raffel also made an outstanding pass on that play,” Bavery said. “Gavyn’s shot was contested so hard that the pass had to be perfect. If that pass wasn’t perfect, he couldn’t get the shot off. So luckily, the pass and the shot were perfect.”

Middleton also defeated Kingdom Prep Lutheran for the second time in nine days.

Raffel led the Cardinals with 14 points, while Fosdick added 12. Collin Schremp chipped in with 10 points and Tanner Ballweg had six.

Middleton led, 27-26, at halftime, then pulled away in the second half. That marked a dramatic improvement from the first time the teams met and the Cardinals prevailed, 49-46.

“I felt like that game showed how quickly this team is growing,” Bavery said. “We walked off the court feeling like we were a much better team than the last time we went down there.”

• On deck: Middleton was at Muskego Tuesday night, then is at New Berlin West Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals travel to Monroe Friday at 7:15 p.m., then are at DePere Saturday at 3 p.m.

 

 

Feb. 6

MIDDLETON 58, 

FORT ATKINSON 57 (ot)

Middleton .…. 17  26  9  6— 58

Fort ................ 24  29  9  5— 57

MIDDLETON (fg ft-fta pts) — Raffel 1 0-0 3; Zimmerman 1 0-0 3; Finch 0 2-3 2; Statz 3 1-2 7; Fosdick 5 6-7 16; Meinholz 4 0-0 9; Toennies 1 0-0 2; Schremp 1 3-4 5; Meier 0 2-4 2; Hurley 1 2-2 5; VanBuren 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 16-22 58.

FORT ATKINSON — Glisch 1 1-2 3; Baker 6 4-4 21; Burke 1 1-2 4; Cosson 1 0-0 2; Wixom 4 0-1 10; Kees 2 2-2 8; Evans 4 1-3 9. Totals 19 9-14 57.

3-point goals: M 4 (Raffel 1, Zimmerman 1, Meinholz 1, Hurley 1); FA 10 (Baker 5, Burke 1, Wixom 2, Kees 2). Total fouls: M 16; FA 18. Fouled out: Evans.

 

Feb. 5

MIDDLETON 64, 

KINGDOM PREP LUTHERAN 44

Middleton ….…. 27  37 — 64

Kingdom Prep  …. 26  18 — 44

MIDDLETON — Raffel 14, Finch 2, Fosdick 12, Meinholz 5, Zempel 2, Schremp 10, Ballweg 6, Sweitzer 4, Meier 5, Comerford 1, Hurley 2, VanBuren 1.

KINGDOM PREP — Grandberry 8, Hunt 16, Trammell 15, Cunningham 3, Mitchell 2.

 

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